Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Oct 12, 2012 to Mar 22, 2013
23 min. per episode
R - 17+ (violence & profanity)
L represents licensing company
Score: 8.561 (scored by 83363 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
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SynopsisThe series takes place in the near future, when it is possible to instantaneously measure and quantify a person's state of mind and personality. This information is recorded and processed, and the term "Psycho-Pass" refers to a standard used to measure an individual's being. The story centers around the "enforcement officer" Shinya Kougami, who is tasked with managing crime in such a world.
In the future, it is possible to quantitatively measure a person's emotions, desires, and every inclination. In this way, it is also possible to measure a person's criminal tendency factor, which is used to judge criminals.
This is the story of a team of policemen dedicated to maintaining public order. Some of them work in the Enforcement Division, responsible for the apprehension of criminals, while others belong to the Supervisory Division which oversees their colleagues in Enforcement.
(Source: translated and adapted from official site by Cranston)
Related AnimeAdaptation: Kanshikan Tsunemori Akane, Psycho-Pass
Other: All Alone With You, Psycho-Pass Movie
Sequel: Psycho-Pass 2
Characters & Voice Actors
I feel so sorry for anybody who missed out on this anime this year because it was absolutely brilliant. Likewise, I also feel sorry for anybody who didn’t, because Urobuchi Gen ripped their hearts out.
The series is set in the near future in which it is possible to instantaneously quantify a person’s state of mind, personality, and probability of committing a crime, all recorded on an individual’s “Psycho-Pass”. When their “Crime Coefficient” index becomes too high, they are pursued and apprehended by police officers known as Inspectors, and their ‘hunting dogs’ the Enforcers; in this way, order is maintained. Unit One of the Public Safety Bureau’s division of criminal investigation, navigate the system to uphold justice in their seemingly Utopian society.
Before anything else, let’s address some reasons the show received heavy criticism early on, and was subsequently written off because of it.
Inspector Tsunemori Akane: As a frequenter of tumblr, I saw so many people dismiss the protagonist of the series immediately after episode 1, and to that I say shame on you. She got a lot of flack for being naive and idealistic, but that was the whole point of her character development. Even more egregious was how much hate she got because of her design, and again, shame on you. Both the director and the writer explicitly stated that “moe” would be completely omitted from Psycho-Pass; there’s a lot of back and forth between whether Akane is or isn’t moe (though the pink jellyfish comes close), but you don’t hate on a character because of their haircut. And personally, I think she’s cute.
Too slow: I understand, the series does take it’s time in the beginning. Psycho-Pass doesn’t really reach the heart of its story until about episode 10. However, everything before this is time spent establishing the cyberpunk setting, the relationships between the characters, and setting up for an unbelievable payoff later. Every reveal in the series speaks to something that was established earlier (yes, even the HyperOats) because the writer is a master at foreshadowing and bringing his stories full circle. It is well worth wading through the cases in the beginning to reach the core of the story later.
Psycho-Pass is a ripoff of Minority Report: a 2002 film directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Cruise based off a short story of the same name written by legendary science fiction author, Philip K. Dick. And honestly, to this I have to say… so what? Having only seen the trailer, I could just as easily say that Pacific Rim is a rip off of Evangelion, but that doesn’t say anything about its merit on any level. So even if the series is derivative (and what material isn’t these days?), the two focus on different themes and tell totally separate stories; Minority Report is a commentary on human free will and choice where Psycho-Pass is a revenge story at its core and an examination of justice, taking place in the same kind of setting.
And the joke is on you, because Philip K. Dick’s work is actually mentioned in the series. It’s obvious, to the point of near literary pretentiousness, how the series pays homage to the themes and philosophies found in great written works. I can see how consistently name dropping George Orwell or Jonathan Swift might be annoying, but as a total classic literature nerd, it made me excited to pick up what they were alluding to in the books I have read, and inspired to hunt down the rest so I could understand the series even better (hard copies— because e-books lack character). Besides, an image of Heart of Darkness conveys just as much as a long-winded discourse about the descent into darkness and the true nature of humanity would. It isn’t always subtle, but it is challenging and elevates the show to more than just another crime thriller anime.
Before I continue lauding it, let me clarify: Psycho-Pass is bloody, violent, and disturbing, and not for the weak-hearted. This anime has cruel scenes, both physically and mentally, and the director joked that he wanted the kids in the audience to sustain trauma for life after watching. O_O But that is not why your heart will be ripped out.
Your heart will be ripped out because Urobuchi Gen helmed this.
Urobuchi-san (Fate/Zero & Puella Magi Madoka Magica) is known for writing dark, nihilistic themes and tragic plot twists into his stories, earning him the affectionate nickname “The Uro-BUTCHER”. Back when I wrote my original Madoka review, I had no idea who this man was or what he would do to my emotions. Lobotomizing yourself with a spoon would be less painful. If only I had known then…
The reason Urobuchi-san is capable of writing compelling stories is not because he’s heavy handed with the nihilism or because he shies away from current trends in the anime industry. There are two very good reasons.
1. He knows how to write people— realistic, human characters with attributes and flaws and personal motivations and incredible development (see: Ginoza Nobuchika). The audience doesn’t suffer because tragic events happen, but because they happen to these characters, whom you have grown to know and love and sympathize with (see: Ginoza Nobuchika).
2. He never writes standard black and white conflicts. The system in place which monitors people’s mental states for the sake of safety arguably takes way their free will, but without it the society plunges into chaos. The Enforcer seeks to bring down the main antagonist for personal revenge, not for the sake of justice; and yet if the anarchist wins, in theory, people’s wills are restored as long as they survive the crumbling of the system. As you watch his series, you might not know who you want to win, or whether they should, and it makes for deeply thought provoking entertainment. (The “Psycho-Scan” aspect of the series alone is provocative when you put it into the context of how mental health is approached in Japan.)
There’s a lot of commentary on human nature, the natures of societies, law and governance, good and evil. There’s tons of brain-candy to chew on here; Psycho-Pass is not a series to watch if you travel into anime to escape or like to keep your mind turned off. Although it shares similar themes and story telling elements as something like Madoka Magica, the complexity, the science fiction crime mystery genre, and integration of philosophy and literature makes it less universal in appeal, but all the more appealing for someone like me.
Knowing Urobuchi’s previous work had me worried. Hearing that the entire staff cried over the final episode had me very worried. But even with his bloody reputation preceding him, Psycho-Pass has proved that Urobuchi-san is master storyteller capable of being twisted and incredibly emotional, as well as demonstrating diversity and restraint. His name is one I’m sure to be following from now on.
Oh, and it also looked great. And sounded great. Production I.G.’s work here is wonderful, and they’re generally a top notch studio. Production knew when to hold back, so they could really deliver where it mattered later (the dog hunting scene was very dark and difficult to see, but “The Gates of Judgement”? that three something minute fight scene was unbelievable). The backgrounds were incredibly detailed and the series has a great look, managing to be extremely colorful and yet very dark. The integration of CG was also very impressive, and I’m glad to see they pulled it off so successfully since technology is a major motif in this 22nd century world. I might just be drawn to the style, but all of Amano Akira’s character designs look great (yes, even Akane-chan’s).
*jumps onto the soapbox* Episode 18, “Promises Written in Water”, came out totally derpy-looking because of scheduling issues. Even the director apologized, saying that in order to get the episode out on time, it would air incomplete. This is not just an acceptable drop in animation quality like we typically see from Gainax or Gonzo, just an honest to goodness time issue. Production on the episode will be finished in time for the home media releases and it will be just as quality as the rest of the series. *hops off the soapbox*
The score was varied, very synthy and they played around with different types of sounds to add in, but fitting with the futuristic setting and dark tone of the anime. There are some standout pieces on the OST, I’m rather fond of the main theme and a very pretty and somber piano piece reserved for the quieter moments. Psycho-Pass is guilty of playing Bach, stealing a leaf out of Evangelion’s book, but at least the high-brow pretentiousness makes more sense here. All the OPs and EDs were similarly successful, sporting beautiful animation (and a bit of foreshadowing), not to mention that many of the songs were written for the specific characters. “abnormalize” speaks to Kogami’s character, where “Namae no nai Kaibutsu” should be listened to with Makishima in mind. Also, I don’t think the fanbase will ever get tired of “cause I feeeeeeeellll” or “your never walk alonee” and neither will I.
In general, I struggle watching shows week to week because I prefer marathoning my anime and when I really get into it, I am incapable of doing anything else while waiting in between episodes (should have seen me after Ep. 19, it was baad). And I haven’t done this with any other anime of 2012, so it speaks to how stellar Psycho-Pass really was when I say it was the highlight of my week, every week, until the end. I’m going to go out and buy Proust right now. What an incredible ride.
There is nothing more undefined, blurry, and vague than the line that separates "good" from "bad". What complicates the matter further is the question of "is said action more bad/good than another?" Why do we consider the murder of an innocent person a worse offense compared to something like a bank robbery? Is a doctor who saves hundreds of lives more "good" than a simple volunteer at a homeless shelter? While Psycho Pass may not be a realistic representation of today's societal state, the observation of human morals, psychological concepts, and fluctuation of emotions can all be applied to our methodology of thinking and our outlook on life itself.
The premise of the show poses an interesting scenario: what if we lived in a world where it was possible to determine the potential of a person through a simple cymatic scan, and judge/assign that person accordingly? You would be told your aptitude for certain jobs, the extent of your latent abilities, and the likelihood of mental instability and the capacity to commit crimes. This is the world that Psycho Pass is set in. The show follows the Public Safety Bureau's Criminal Investigation Division and the various cases that are assigned to them. Through their work solving crimes, we delve into conflicts of morality, the battle between the righteous and injustice, and the clash between different ideologies about the Sibyl System that made this whole lifestyle possible.
The strongest selling point of Psycho Pass is its cast of well developed and intricate characters. We have Tsunemori Akane, a new Investigator of the Criminal Investigation Division, and her beliefs are what is most commonly defined as "righteous". She is the representation of the ideal yet naive mindset that justice is absolute and criminals must be punished. She holds the law close to her heart, and while very young and inexperienced, she is an intelligent person and attempts to see the good in people. Through her exposure to the more sinister side of society, we observe if she is able to withstand the challenges to her beliefs and how she changes as an individual.
Helping her solve crimes and doing most of the "dirty work" is one of the Enforcers under her, Kogami Shinya. As one that is familiar with the darker side of society and has accumulated a plethora of experience in dealing with criminal minds, he is calculating, intelligent, and physically adept. His outlook on justice and the nature of other people differs from Akane's, and this difference serves as a driving force for the show. While he is normally collected and logical, his emotions do cause him to act irrationally and puts him in precarious situations. His resolve and detective skills are put to the test and we are shown the lengths in which he will go through to reinforce his beliefs.
In addition to these two, we have Ginoza, a veteran Inspector with some very firm and rigid beliefs on criminals and potential and Masaoka, an experienced Enforcer who was a detective but was deemed a latent criminal and is a bit old fashioned. We also are introduced to Kagari, a easygoing Enforcer who was marked as a criminal at the age of five and has been an Enforcer ever since and doesn't think too highly of the Sibyl System and Yayoi, a former guitarist turned Enforcer trying to prevent others from ending up as criminals similar to how someone dear to her did. Rounding out our Unit One, we have Shion, the Bureau's analyst that aids the unit in solving crimes, and Joshu, the enigmatic Chief of the Bureau. The fact that none of these characters are insignificant or unimpactful enough to dismiss is quite a feat, but Psycho Pass gives each and every character depth and relevance to the main plot.
A debate that has stood the test of time is the question: are humans innately good or evil? Do we strive to side by justice because it is in our nature, our personalities, our entire being, or do we do so in order to simply create the facade of appearing as a righteous person? Are our actions a culmination of self interest, in that we do everything for personal gain? Forging relationships, creating bonds; are they simply methods to reach the end goal of personal satisfaction and happiness? Psycho Pass portrays and addresses this issue through excellent storytelling, proficient pacing, and a cast of realistic characters. From watching Akane attempting to defend latent criminals and trying to give them a chance to prove their innocence, to Shinya's drive based on personal revenge and his definition of justice, Psycho Pass keeps its audience consistently alert and interested, with plot twists and shifts that are unpredictable and wholeheartedly intriguing.
The art is bold and catches the eye's attention. From the casual conversation scenes to the dynamic and high tension fight scenes, everything is animated with a finesse that is incredible. While some may dislike some of the characters design, that is ultimately personal preference. The sound is appropriate for a sci-fi show. The OP and EDs are upbeat and catchy and will stick with you even after the conclusion of the show. They serve to build suspense and set the mood, and everything fits into the whole picture to deliver a well coordinated show.
Psycho Pass, I believe, can be considered a masterpiece. With thought-provoking dialogue and plot, an amount of drama and tension that is neither excessive nor underwhelming, and a group of characters that are just as complex as many of us, Psycho Pass delivers an action sci-fi show unlike one we've seen before.
In essence, both are about flawed systems and their consequences. The *major* differences being in the anime's execution (cyber punk/advanced technology vs folklore/village life), style and flow. Heck, the main female characters are very similar as well.
Psychological horror type anime set in a seemingly utopian future. However, that "utopia" turns out to be tragically flawed, and the unusually collected heroine is caught in the middle of everything wrong with her society.
Perfect society has finally been created. Or so it seems. Is everything really as perfect as it is made to seem?
These animes are miles apart in terms of universe and atmosphere, but they share similar themes comon to stories set in dystopian speculative futures. Also, they both feature a female lead valued for her exceptional resilience.
We are presented a seemingly utopian society in which everyday hardships seem to be a thing of the past. Clearly, this society is far from perfect and holds some dark secrets. As the mystery unravels, the pitfalls of the supposedly perfect society are explored in frightening detail. Dystopian fiction at its finest.
Unsettling psychological stories set in the future. The female lead is a discontented participant in her society, but she accepts it, rather than try to change it. Their governments/leaders keep a terrible secret, and monitor and tightly control citizens' behavior in an attempt to create a utopia. Deviants are eliminated.
The similarities aren't immediately apparent due to the differences in delivery, and I certainly didn't see them at first. After all, one is a cyberpunk crime show, and the other is a coming-of-age story set in a countryside village. However, as the plots unravel, the similarities become more and more apparent. Both are dystopian tales about flawed systems; both deal with the theme of removing threats before they exist, and both delve heavily into human nature and society. The main female leads are also incredibly similar due to their strength and resilience. Both are prime examples of psychological anime, and if you like one, then you're sure to like the other!
A world that at first sight might seem an utopia, but turns out to be built at such a cost that it is questionable whether it is actually worth it. I would recommend both to anyone interested in dystopian stories.
The main difference between the stories (apart from the world they're in) is the pacing. While Psycho Pass drops you off in the middle of the story Shinsekai Yori slowly eases you into the story and lets you grow accustomed to the world first.
Shows that present dystopian societies in the future, where moral values are suppressed in favor of maintaining peace and order within the society. The line between right and wrong is very ambiguous. Viewers may strongly sympathize with the antagonists, who may have legitimate reasons to revolt against the authority.
Both refer to an ideal for human society, demonstrating how humans always strive to find a world that they believe best for them. The values aren't agreed upon by everyone though, and a group of protagonists' thinking break outside of the box they're being enclosed in. Very thought-provoking.
-the responsible female protagonist has to come to terms with and enforce the Utopia/Dystopia that she resides in, in the process shaping her morales and becoming very strong and capable.
-strict observation of psychological health of citizens
-allusions to psychological works and conditions
-lots of death and dying, and obviously tragedy as well.
-and the questioning of the morality of death punishment
-there was a team of five--and more similarities but I don't want to make this a spoiler.
-homosexual relationships in the team
Of course, one has a brilliant twisted villain, the other has [i wont spoil it].
One is tron-like, the other is traditional/villagey.
The team dynamics in each are completely different.
Both deal with the protagonist finding out the hidden nature of their 'perfect world'. This causes them to go through many near death experiences. On the way some friends die, as result of the sybil system or the ethics committee covering up evidence. In the end both have to learn to deal with the fact that is how society is currently but hope for change in the future.
Psycho pass is set in a somewhat more futuristic world than today.
Shin sekai yori, although 1000 or so into the future, do not rely on technology and have no 'concrete buildings'.
In Psycho pass, the Denominators give them power.
In Shin sekai yori, human have psycho kinesis (something along those lines)
Both shows settings are in a futuristic utopia where people get killed for having the potential to do harm even if they've done nothing wrong. Psycho-pass is more of law enforcement type thriller where as shinsekai yori has more of a darker mood than that. Two of my favorite shows for sure!
Both anime are about dystopian societies that base their legal system on the risk of committing a crime and extensive information control with the intention of preventing people from learning things that could risk the order of society. In both anime, the government is shown to have reason to act the way they do, but it never really is fully justified. Finally, the weaknesses of both societies are exploited to great harm to the population.
What are the consequences of using of a questionable coercion system?
A system which alleged purpose is to protect the population by imposing strong restrictions and deciding on each individual fate itself.
Both the anime explore and develop a very intriguing and enjoyable dark story based on this premise.
Both are procedural crime shows and set in a future version of Japan. Both shows are very focused on sci fi and each has their own interesting gallery of gadgets and systems. Both follow the attempts of a law enforcement agencies attempts to capture an enigmatic criminal who's always several steps ahead. Ghost in the Shell is more episodic and the underlying plot is visited in standalone episodes throughout the season. Psycho Pass is more focused on the main plot. I've heard Psycho Pass get called at best inspired by and at worst a rip off of GitS but I think it's its own show and I'll recommend it as such. If you like detective stories, Sci-fi, and character driven drama you'll like this
Both are set in a plausible futuristic setting focused on some police authority. Action scenes litter throughout both series, and when done, they're brilliantly choreographed. Like any two great sci-fi, both looks critically into the social implications of technology, the ethical considerations, and any significant impact of change in lifestyle. Easily two of the best sci-fi anime has to offer, utmost care was put into both in developing a world that feels real and the characters themselves behave accordingly to the circumstances given.
Both are crime-solving anime in a similar futuristic setting. Both get very serious and give a commentary on the human condition.
First of all in both cases we have the police as the main characters. Secondly we could say the time period is not too distant cyberpunk style future.
Psycho - pass seems to have some interesting philosophical views on this kind of future... It's the kind of anime which actually needs you to think when watching it.
Ghost in the shell has multiple story arcs, while Psycho Pass has a single arc which connects it all together.
Both are set in a futuristic society and both talk about psychology and philosophy extensively.
Both of these story lines fall deep into the future with technology that can better mankind but also still have the same amount of crime. Characters are a bit different than ghost in a shell however you will learn about the characters in this anime at different episodes just like ghost in a shell.
Both series shares similar themes involving dealing with criminals in a world with powerful technology. In fact, these traces of technology can be traced with cyperpunk themes. Thus, both series has a similar feeling.
Both series' characters works with a superior organization to deal with the criminals using their skills.
Production I.G. is also involved with both series hence similar animation artwork and visuals.
Both series has action, drama, police, and great dialogue usage in many scenes.
Both anime have a similar feel to their story telling as well as both being worlds in a not too distant future. Both can also be classified as science fiction and each follow a form of law enforcement.
Both animes feature an advanced technological society that despite the cutting edge technology suffers from both existential and criminal issues. Both animes feature cybercrime and a lot of action. Both animes focus on police and investigations.
Both are in the future, have to deal in a sci-fi genre and deal with aspects of philosophy. Specifically, they deal with the philosophy of current life and future life. Both also have great, almost similar artwork (minus characters).
They're both set in futuristic/cyberpunk type worlds (although PP seems a few decades behind GITS technology-wise) and focus on law enforcement, while also delving into themes like grey morality. The main difference is in the main theme; where GITS focuses on the idea of individualism in an increasingly connected world, PP chooses to explore the idea of freedom vs security. If you liked one it's a high chance you'll like the other.
Both of these anime are set in the future and deal with law enforcement. Ghost in the Shell revolves more around how we are losing our grip on humanity compared to how horrifying humanity is in the future with Psycho Pass. Both of these anime also have underlying meanings that really strike a chord when they are finally understood.
Both are about police investigation. They both set up in a sci-fi world. They both have a strong squad that each member have his speciality.
There are some major parallels to draw between the two shows. Both feature a team of police detectives in a near future world, hunting down criminals, often of a cyber nature. They do this using futuristic technology, which feels pretty similar between the two shows. The action scenes in both shows also manages to feel pretty similar.
There's two major differences between the shows. First, the story setup is different. Psyco-Pass being focused around measuring a person's criminal tendencies, while GitS: S.A.C is focused around equal rights for androids, and explores if androids are able to have souls and feel emotions.
The second big difference would be the art style, which ends up being more realistic in GitS, and slightly more stylized in Psycho-Pass.
Opening Theme#1: "abnormalize" by Ling Tosite Sigure (凛として時雨) (eps 1-11)
#2: "Out of Control" by Nothing's Carved in Stone (eps 12-22)
Ending Theme#1: "Namae no nai Kaibutsu (名前のない怪物)" by EGOIST (eps 1-11)
#2: "All Alone With You" by EGOIST (eps 12-22)
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